Tips for Decorating Your Holiday Mantel

There’s no place cozier during the holidays than snuggled up next to a warm fire, even in sub-tropical Houston! Okay, so maybe some of us still have the air-conditioner running at the same time…BUT a festive fireplace is definitely a focal point during the holiday season. Decor for your holiday mantel can be a challenge, so we decided to share a few tricks and tips to make your mantel merry and bright this winter.

A Holiday Decor Warning for Home Sellers

If you’re staying put this holiday season, scroll on down for fun decor ideas! But since this is a home staging blog, it’s worth noting that if you plan to list your home for sale this winter, you should tread more carefully when it comes to holiday decor. In fact, I recommend avoiding it altogether.

I realize that advice feels very Grinch-y to some homeowners so if you absolutely feel you must decorate for the holidays, follow two important rules of thumb:

  • First, decorate after your listing photos have been taken. Otherwise you risk dating your photos and letting buyers know exactly how long your home has been on the market. Trust me, you won’t want pictures of your house decorated with lights and poinsettias if your house still hasn’t sold by February!
  • Second, if you do decide to put out decorations, stick with seasonal items (snow, greenery, pinecones, etc.) versus overtly religious decor (Christmas trees, menorahs, nativity scenes,etc.). Potential buyers shouldn’t ever be able to profile who lives in the home.

Holiday Mantel Ideas

  • Use layers. Overlap decor of varying heights to create a more cohesive design. A good rule of thumb is to use a large weighted piece at the back of your design (like a mirror or a piece of large art), then add candles or taller pieces, and finally some smaller filler decor or greenery in front.

Frenchflair traditional-family-room

holiday mantel decor

Oversized Decorative Wood Wall Vanity Mirror

holiday mantel decor

Glitter Reindeer Decorations

Set of 3 Silver Glittered Christmas Trees- 6.25 inches to 9.5 inches Tall

  • Balance your design by putting complementary holiday decor opposite each other on the mantel. Your display doesn’t have to be symmetrical, but the items should have similar visual weight, scale, or form. Try placing larger decor on the ends, while centering shorter items (and if that doesn’t work, reverse it!).

Winter Holiday Decor transitional

holiday mantel decor

Hexagon Glass Lantern

holiday mantel decor

Clever Creations Traditional King Nutcracker Collectible Wooden Christmas Nutcracker

  • Add some modern flair. Give your holiday traditions a touch of contemporary style by using decor with clean lines and bold colors.

Living Rooms traditional-family-room

Modern Hammered Menorah

Solid Oak Crystal/Blue Snowflakes Ornament Kit

  • Vary texture. A mixture of knits, faux fur, metal, and greenery add life and interest to this neutral colored mantel.

Traditional Wintery Holiday Mantel Collection - Threshold™ modern-living-room

Mark Feldstein & Associates Winter Village LED Tea Light 31 Piece Porcelain Tabletop

Gireshome Ivory Cable Knitted Body, Faux Fur Cuff with Faux Fur Fluffy Pompom Ball Christmas Stocking

  • Simplify color. Use no more than three colors to keep your mantel from looking overly embellished. A vibrant red and pops of silver add radiance and glam to this pretty holiday display.

Living Room with Christmas Sparkle transitional-living-room

VGIA 22 inches Christmas Wreath Door Wreath Stunning Red Berry Wreath

Berry Topiary Tree

MAGGIFT Red Christmas Stocking with Snowflakes Pattern White Faux Fur Cuff

  • Add a garland. Opt for simple color palette that has variations in texture for a classic holiday look. And make sure it’s the right length:  the dangling ends of the garland should only hang down from the mantel about 1/3 of the way to the floor.

Grandin Road Christmas Mantel

You can order the gorgeous 6′ Cascading Christmas Garland in this photo from Grandin Road.

The products on this blog have been independently selected because I like them. Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, meaning, if you choose to click on a link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you and is paid 100% by the merchant, which helps me continue to create free content for my readers — so it’s a win-win! Thank you for supporting my blog and my business!

What tips do you have for holiday mantels? Share your secrets with Three Bears Home Staging!

We Can Help You with Holiday Mantel Decor and More!

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